The year 2021 has witnessed the rise of new Mass Torts, the consolidation of existing ones, and a slow and silent fade of others (hmm, RoundUp). As we enter the final stretch of 2021, two new torts are breaking out, and we cover everything we know about them in this week’s episode.
One of them is infant formula, with the potential to have affected tens of thousands of infants all across the country. Some call it the “next big one,” but there are several questions yet to be answered and a strategy requiring advanced segmentation to avoid interfering with birth injury cases.
On the other hand, there are lead poisoning cases in Jackson, MS. While the qualifiers and target area are more straightforward, the complexity of torts involving municipalities, governments, and other organizations may add extra levels of complexity that make it impossible to predict where these will end.
Join our conversation to hear what we know and don’t know about two of the most recent mass torts out there.
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Liel: [00:00:00] Not all mass torts survival, much like single event cases. You’ll want to be confident in your selection when investing significant resources as required by mass tort litigation and marketing. I’m Liel Levy, co-founder of Nanato Media and author of Beyond Se Habla Español How Lawyers Win the Hispanic Market and This Is In-camera podcast where we keep our fingers on the pulse of emerging mass torts. Welcome to in camera podcast, Private Legal Marketing Conversations, Grace, welcome back. How are you today?
Grace: [00:00:57] Good. How are you, Liel?
Liel: [00:00:59] Doing great Grace. You know what’s funny? Because we had a holiday last week and you feel like you’re going to come back and you’re going to be fully charged and ready to go? I feel like it’s been two years since I had a long weekend and it was actually just last week. So Grace, that’s how I am. What about you?
Grace: [00:01:19] Oh, goodness, you know, after a long weekend, it always seems like there’s a lot more work than even before you left. But and then as you and I were talking about it, just the end of the year is coming so fast it does get a little bit odd.
Liel: [00:01:35] It’s super crazy, Grace. And you know what? This week I was giving a presentation at a virtual seminar. It really kind of like took me back to earlier this year and end of last year, when everything was still virtual and and conferences were happening virtually and stuff. And even though it was, it was a great event. It was a great experience. There was fantastic content. It still made me kind of like in retrospect, even more appreciate the fact that we were back at having conferences in person. Right. Because even though there is a chat there, A) you cannot really be paying full attention to what’s happening in the chat and then give your presentation and B), you know, it’s the chat, it’s letters. It’s it’s Swartz, right? There’s no real emotion there. So yeah, I kind of like became even more appreciative of the fact that we seem to be going strong with these in-person events, and I really hope that’s the case. I don’t want to jinx it, particularly since we have a new variant around. So, yeah, you know, hey, we were in season three of the pandemic, so let’s see how that goes.
Grace: [00:02:47] Yeah. And you know, at least we were lucky enough to start this podcast before the pandemic. So we’ve had something that, you know, we’ve been able to put together and still put out there on a weekly basis, which is great at least.
Liel: [00:02:59] Yeah, we’ve been pre-pandemic and we’ve gone strong ever since. So Grace, this week we have an interesting conversation here because A) it’s mass torts and that’s great because there’s so much to talk and learn about that. But particularly this time we’re going to be talking about two fairly recent mass torts. And it’s funny because when when you say, well, it’s not funny, mass torts are never funny. But what I’m saying here is that when you’ve mentioned and you brought this up yesterday when we were discussing what we’re going to be talking about this episode and you brought up one of the mass torts, which is baby formula, it rang my bell because I’ve heard about this mass tort and I actually heard about it about six or seven months ago when it was still very, very, very, very unknown. And the person who brought it up, of course, asked me to to be discreet about it, right? As often these recent mass torts tend to develop, you know, there’s a little bit of secrecy going on around those, but it looks like baby formula is getting into full swing right now. And so we’ll talk about that. But just in before we get into baby formula, there’s another one that you brought up that I did not know about, and it’s an interesting one because it’s lead poisoning through water and this has been an existing issue. Obviously, Flint Michigan comes to mind when you hear about water contaminated with lead and you kind of want to know, first of all, what’s the difference? Is there any difference between what’s happening right now? Where is it happening and what’s the outlook? So Grace, what do you know about lead poisoning right now and where is this happening?
Grace: [00:04:58] So basically, it comes from the fact of where they get the water right. It’s the water source. So this particular one, it’s as you said, Flint Michigan was probably one of the first ones, and I’m sure there was potentially before that, but that I remember that’s one of the ones that I can recall back in the day. And now this is one of those very similar. In that sense, it’s a different location and this one is in Jackson. Ms. And what basically is happening with this one is that in 2014, in August of 2014, Jackson, Mississippi switched its drinking water, and they originally had it as part of the Mattocks Road Well system. And anybody that knows anything about water, which is its kind of funny, not funny, ha ha. As you said, right? It’s nothing is ever funny. Yeah, but it’s funny in the sense that, like none of us really know where we get our water from. Not really, right. I mean, we know that the water comes down our pipes and we turn on the water and the water comes out. Yeah. So if somebody says
Liel: [00:06:02] You want to hope that it comes from some plant that it’s treating the water, that’s
Grace: [00:06:06] Exactly somewhere safe, particularly because we live in cities, I mean, in fairly large cities. And you know, Jackson is not a tiny city, but it it must have grown enough that the well system wasn’t enough. Potentially, yeah. So they switched to surface water. So that means nearby lakes, rivers, streams and things of that nature. So apparently in making that switch, potentially what they’re alleging is that children were exposed to lead because the water was potentially contaminated and since they their entire lives were switched to this new water sources it they would be bathing in it, they would be drinking in it, they were eating it in their food and so on and so on.
Liel: [00:06:53] Lots, lots of different ways of getting exposed. So yeah, the consequences can be devastating, right?
Grace: [00:06:59] Correct. And it’s one of those things that’s kind of hard to tell because apparently lead poisoning is very similar to the symptoms of what they think are ADHD. And, you know, they can’t focus anymore. And and so they they unless they potentially connected the two. This is probably the first time most of these people even had a clue that their kids were potentially poisoned by lead.
Liel: [00:07:25] So Grace. Who’s getting sued?
Grace: [00:07:31] So in this case, it is against the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. They came out and said that they were the ones that this was OK to do and all of that. They’re not the ones getting sued. They they’re the ones that said, you know. A Jackson, Mississippi, department environmental. Twenty two percent of the homes the drinking water contained enough lead that it exceeded the dangerous level of 15 parts per billion. So in this case, it looks like they’re going to have to go after the government, not the government, but the state that changed the water. So whoever made the change to the water, that is who they’re going after, they’re still trying to form the concept of the MDLs and all that stuff. There’s not been bellwether trials or anything like that that normally lead up to a mass tort just yet. So this is still new and developing. And for those of you that have heard us before, talk about mass torts when they’re new and developing, you don’t have a whole lot of information. You’re just aggregating the issues, the injuries and these are children. So this is going to be one of those things that if they were minors between 2014 and twenty sixteen, it could potentially be a pretty big case, you know, because they were children. So right now, they’re forming everything. They’re deciding how it’s going to go forward. And the injuries so far are a list of about 10 and any of us that know about mass torts. It could start to obviously go down and get reduced depending on as the aggregate cases and find out the true injuries across the board of all these children in that time frame.
Liel: [00:09:10] One question I have is because oftentimes what happens with these types of cases, right, is are there insurance companies here to actually compensate the victims? Are we looking into a scenario where this could actually develop into solid cases, or can somebody hear filed bankruptcy? And then, you know. Everybody gets left, it’s left hanging there, because that’s not rare, and I think one of the things we saw here during the Texas blackout was that that that was what happened in some locations, not for every single case, but in some locations. It was kind of like, Well, yeah, we know there are damages, but there is. There’s no one to go after here. So what’s? What’s the scenario here?
Grace: [00:10:02] So that’s always the potential. Right? Mass torts are just that they’re it’s a mass tort, and the way a legal proceeding can go has a lot to do with tons of other variables that are involved, right? You just said it, you know, it could be that the company is not big enough or whoever is being sued could go into bankruptcy. I mean, look at talk. Johnson and Johnson is trying to make a motion to subdivide the division that’s being sued for talc. And so that’s in bankruptcy court now or you’re trying to make it go into bankruptcy court. So to answer your question, unfortunately, I can’t give you a straight answer because there’s no great answer. Yes, they could. They very well could. I mean, the city, you know, if they’re suing the city, the city could go bankrupt and not pay.
Liel: [00:10:48] Exactly. And so it feels like, I don’t know. And again, I’m not I’m not who here to make generalizations. But it almost feels that when local governments are involved in the mass tort or class action, it’s almost kind of like become complex and not as straightforward when you’re dealing with a private entity like Johnson and Johnson. Yes, of course they are. They have an army of lawyers and they have a whole strategy team behind how they can mitigate our responsibility. But it it in some way or another. It’s still it’s something that is fought in courts, right? Whereas like, it doesn’t. I don’t know if that’s going to be the case here with lead poisoning. I mean, just by looking at what happened in Flint, Michigan, and where that situation is still even today. I’m just, you know, asking is there is a real hope here now? And I know you don’t have the answer. So I’m going to just move on to the next thing, Grace, which is, is this just in Mississippi where it is happening or is it happening in some other place?
Grace: [00:12:00] So there’s one other place that it’s not the same time frame that I’m aware of. I believe it’s a different time frame and we’re still looking into that one. And that’s Benton Harbor, Michigan. So not just Jackson Benton Harbor, so but it’s the same problem of potential lead poisoning in the water. So, you know, for those of us, the thing is there is no cure for lead poisoning. There is no cure, so once it’s in your body, it’s in your body, and that’s, you know, that’s kind of. And these people are minors, but to your point, you’re right. I mean, governments involved other things like that involved a lot of times it doesn’t pan out or it takes a really, really, really, really long time before anything happens, if anything at all. Yeah. So that is the second place that I know of is Benton Harbor that we’re going to be looking at in the near very, very near future. But I don’t have as much information on that one as I do. Jackson, because we’ve just OK, we’re about to start Jackson soon.
Liel: [00:12:59] Let’s talk about the marketing has. Have campaigns started to run for this mass tort? Our lead is already starting to be generated on this.
Grace: [00:13:08] No, we are literally about to start today, potentially Monday of next week, but most likely today. And then we will start generating and I’ll be able to give you guys a little bit more of an update after, you know, maybe two weeks, depending on how quickly they come in. Yeah, as of right now, I don’t know. I don’t know what it’s going to look like, what kind of makeup of the the pool is going to be. I don’t know any of that just yet. Yeah.
Liel: [00:13:34] Well, but based on what you’re saying, right? So again, dissecting at mass torts how to market them, the the great thing about them is that they’re very specific, right? What all of the characteristics of the mass tort is basically your segmentation. And I’ve said that time and time and again. So you know, the area to target, right? Obviously, obviously, you’re not just going to limit yourself to Jackson, but you’re going to look at Mississippi as a state because people have moved. This is not something that’s just happened yesterday. This is something that happened years ago. So that’s one. The second here, you know, very well, who are the age groups that are affected and you know that some of them may still be minors, correct? Oh, Grace. So you’re definitely going after parents, but you’re also you’re going over after very young adults that, you know, could have been minors and
Grace: [00:14:25] Correct that age. Exactly. Yeah.
Liel: [00:14:28] And so that actually helps you so much narrow down. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And so chances of actually getting in front of the people that this is going to be relevant for is pretty straightforward. Now, obviously, it’s all going to come down to the qualifiers. So what can you tell us about the qualifier Grace?
Grace: [00:14:52] So the qualifiers, as I as I see them right now, it it’s really three kind of main qualifiers, right? They had to have lived in Jackson, Mississippi, and been a minor between January 1st, 2014 and December 31st, 2016. Mm hmm. Then there’s then they had to have suffered academic performance. The academic performance is what I was saying is the lead poisoning causes, apparently that kind of, you know, lack of being able to have any attention or anything like that and talking about
Liel: [00:15:29] Talking about complexity and proving something. I mean, does it get harder than that Grace?
Grace: [00:15:34] Not really. That’s because then the kids may have been tested for ADHD and never tested for lead poisoning. How would a parent necessarily know that we may not? So why would a parent go test their kid for lead? You know, or what if they were diagnosed with ADHD and then they now they test them for lead because, you know, lead still present in their system, potentially so because there’s no cure for it, right? So if they’re poisoned by lead and they test them today and they were poisoned back then, these poor kids could have a double diagnosis. Now, you know, another diagnosed with ADHD when they shouldn’t have ever been potentially diagnosed with the ADHD because it was lead poisoning. So yes, it’s a very, very difficult.
Liel: [00:16:12] So, so then if the traces of of lead poisoning are still present, then then I’m assuming they’re going to have to be tested for it, right? Yes, that’s going to be the qualifier.
Grace: [00:16:23] Have you have you tested? Did you did your child test or did you have your child tested for lead poisoning? Mm hmm. And that’s all right. That’s a big qualifier, obviously. Yeah.
Liel: [00:16:34] Huge, huge, huge. Huge. Yeah, obviously. I don’t know much about the process of lead testing and accessibility wise, how how much, you
Grace: [00:16:48] Know, right? That would be a wildcard. You know, people, Jackson, how much do they make? How much does it cost? You know what I mean? Like, is it something that they can afford to do? Is it something? I mean, they don’t even think about it necessarily. But can they afford it?
Liel: [00:17:02] Yeah. Is that something that insurance covers or Medicare or whatever medical coverage they have, if they have any? So yeah, that’s that’s going to be wild.
Grace: [00:17:11] Yeah. Sort of caveat that I haven’t really, you know, the pregnant women. Oh, OK. So that’s one of those things that, like they hadn’t brought it up. But I remember from I think it was Zantac or something else that we were doing that that we had come across a couple of women that had that their children got cancer or that their children had a problem because they were on whatever drug or device or drugs mostly that they had and that they used. And then as they were pregnant, they used it because it was approved or whatever. And then they had their children were born with the issue. So I have a little small, same kind of caveat. Same question. Same concepts. Did your child, you know, were you pregnant and was your child born with, you know, potentially cognitive issues and things like that? So that one’s going to be a little bit even further harder to prove, potentially, but definitely an interesting part of this lead poisoning tort. And that’s because if you’re pregnant during that time, a lot of times you do get tested for a lot of things, but I don’t know that if you get tested for lead. So it would be interesting to see how many of those come out, how many people were potentially pregnant during those years and if they did test their children for lead after they were born.
Liel: [00:18:38] So Grace, let’s move on to our next mass tort because we said we were going to be talking about two and we’ve already mentioned that it’s infant formula. So. As I’ve said, I heard about this early, very early in the summer. Somebody said it’s starting to emerge. There are signs that something’s going to happen there. Yeah. So what has happened since Grace? What do we know about these particular tort? Are we going after one particular brand? Is it several brands here that are impacted? Let’s start with the basics.
Grace: [00:19:13] Ok, so the basics formula or four to fire so some of us know what that is. Someone was. Don’t you know, the concept of breast milk versus fortifier versus formula and baby food are completely different, right? Because baby food is food, it’s not formula. That’s right. And it’s not fortifier. So and it’s not breast milk. Yeah. You know, to understand that we need to start there. You have to understand that there’s a very, very, very different concepts on each of these. And breast milk is not the same, obviously, as fortify or formula because it’s coming out of the actual breast milk.
Liel: [00:19:54] Now you need to you need to sue the mother, the lactating mother. If you’re if you’re if your allegation has to do with you having something,
Grace: [00:20:06] The problems, the breast milk, yeah,
Liel: [00:20:07] You have to sue your mother. That’s basically
Grace: [00:20:10] Crazy. But yes, very true. So what I’ve seen so far, it’s formula or fortifier, and it’s specifically informal and similar are the two that I’ve seen. They are asking which ones and this has been what I understand is going to be the criteria going forward. But they are asking if you’ve taken other formula or fortifierand you’ve had this problem not to say that it may go anywhere. But those may end up being what they call inventory cases or cases that if they have enough critical mass, then they could potentially go after another provider of fortify or formula.
Liel: [00:20:47] Ok. And these are Grey’s. Excuse me. I mean, I’m not very familiar with different brands of a formula. Are is done by the same corporation or they’re or they’re completely separate.
Grace: [00:20:57] You know, that’s a good question. My understanding is that informal and symbolic are from similar companies, but I could be completely wrong. So give me one sec and I’ll tell you right now.
Liel: [00:21:07] Yeah, that’s fine. And while you’re checking on that one, I also want to confirm so this formula is basically the powdered one that you put into a bottle and you shake and and the babies drink, right?
Grace: [00:21:19] It’s powdered form to augment the breast milk. Yeah. Yes, that is correct. Ok, similar. Wait, wait.
Liel: [00:21:30] This is drunk by the babies, not by the mother in an effort to produce more breast milk.
Grace: [00:21:35] No. Correct.
Liel: [00:21:35] Yeah. It’s either a supplement because, you know, lactation is not happening enough to match the mother, so they need to feed the baby and they’re supplementing with formula or they’re just feeding formula to the baby from the get-go. Right? And so those are the three,
Grace: [00:21:52] Ok, because [00:21:53]fortifier [00:21:53] is added to the breast milk. So there’s the
Liel: [00:21:58] Breast milk and then mixing four to firefortifierit with this. Got it, got it. Got it, got it. Got it, OK. It’s a technical thing here, right? We need to understand what’s happening.
Grace: [00:22:07] Yes, it is. You know, formula. I, you know, my my niece actually was on similac formula and then she was switched to enfamil. And it was because of she had problems with the breast milk and breaking it down or something like that. And so that’s, you know, they put her on that specific formula and that’s what she had, you know, she did. It was interesting because she did have some stomach issues and then we took her off of the formula and put her on regular food because she was already, you know, kind of close enough to to be able to do that. And then she was fine. So I’m wondering if potentially this was the issue because she didn’t have stomach issues after taking the formula. So this is it is very technical, it’s very specific. But a lot of women don’t know what the heck was going on with their babies, and they thought they were doing good by obviously trying to give them [00:23:00] fortifier [00:23:00] as part in their breast milk to give them more. And that’s what you’re told is, OK.
Liel: [00:23:07] Absolutely. I mean, it’s, you know, babies need to grow at a certain rate and you just need to keep up with it, right? I mean, there’s no it’s a very, very binary process, right? And the recommendations are coming an automatic, right? If the baby is not growing this much, you need to supplement with this diet or you need to change them into this. And so it’s I mean, just from hearing that, just from hearing that Grace the size of these can be enormous, can be substantial. So why don’t we get into the details? And then if we do end up finding out whether these companies are from from the same corporation or not, we’ll clarify later.
Grace: [00:23:45] So, oh, I looked it up. Similac is owned by Abbott Laboratories and the enfamil is owned by a British firm, Reckitt Benckiser. Ok, it’s a Chicago based meat Johnson. That’s who it’s made by. Ok? All right. And Meat Johnson, two different companies,
Liel: [00:24:04] So doesn’t necessarily mean much. But at the same time, the fact that two different companies with different products, probably different components to ingredients, different I mean formulas to their formulas, right? Right. So. Ok. All right. Grace, so what? What do we know? What are the symptoms? What’s happening here? Is there a date range? Let’s let’s start looking into the qualifiers and the symptoms.
Grace: [00:24:36] So it’s interesting you asked about that rage. I’m still trying to find that out. I haven’t been given one, necessarily, but it is. These are the qualifiers, as I know today, and that is has to be premature birth, meaning fewer than seven, 37 weeks of gestation. So it had to be a premature baby.
Liel: [00:24:56] Ok. So the baby that was being fed the formula had to be a premature baby. Correct. Ok.
Grace: [00:25:07] Because it affects specifically premature babies, OK, because they don’t have fully formed organs. Mm hmm. Then the apparently what’s happening is the diagnosis of necrotizing enterocolitis, which is basically their guts fall apart necrosis. So, you know, like, yeah, yeah, when things degrade and start falling apart, yeah, that’s necrosis. So necrotizing enterocolitis, it’s the inner intestine falling apart. It’s horrible. You know, I I know I said that three times, and it’s just because I heard it on Tuesday when I was sitting on the Mass Torts Made Perfect webinar baby formula. And one of the the attorneys, she said that she had, you know, spoken to one of the, you know, a woman that had gone through this with her child, and it was just honestly going and hearing that it was just so difficult, you know, of course, you know, being a mom myself and you know, my sister’s a mom and we all know, you know, kids and children that were potentially born preemies. It’s just hard to to conceive of that. These poor children are, you know, being hurt to this degree because that’s not the only, you know, besides the diagnosis, there are injuries that are associated with this formula and that diagnosis and those are intestinal perforation. Yeah, scarring or strictures in the intestines so their guts can bind up. Sepsis. Cerebral palsy. Neurological damage. Surgery to remove the dead intestines. And, of course, death, potentially because they can’t eat.
Liel: [00:26:56] So, yeah, well, I mean, a lot of those sound like that, even if you survive that, you’re probably life expectancy expectancy. It’s not. It’s not going to be great, right? I mean, I don’t know.
Grace: [00:27:09] It would reduce your life expectancy, potentially by a lot if, if not, killing you right then and they’re killing the child right then and there. And that’s because they’re already a preemie baby. They’re already under these potential injuries and issues. And then and basically slapping on top of them something that is going to destroy their intestines weight.
Liel: [00:27:28] So Grace. So how fast are these symptoms and are these side effects, if you want to call them side effects, start taking place.
Grace: [00:27:38] It’s interesting that you ask that because that was one of the things that they were talking about on the call. And that was they’re not, you know, they they don’t. It’s hard to notice, right? It’s hard to notice because the stomach, the baby is a preemie to begin with. So they think that the formula is helping and then they take them off of that formula and potentially switch them to another formula or something else. And things seem to be getting better. But the baby has to eat every day, right? So it’s hard for them to understand or realize that it was the formula causing the problem and that it was feeding that it wasn’t the fact that they were preemie baby or, you know, their blood or anything else. So, yeah, for them to figure out that it’s the formula, they it took them too long. And a lot of times they’re putting them back on the formula because the food or the breast milk is still not enough and the milk is so expensive that they don’t automatically go to breast milk because it’s too expensive. So they mostly go to the formula or even [00:28:42] for to fire [00:28:43] in the breast milk. So it’s important for them to determine this, and then they put them back on the formula again. So it’s it’s been very difficult for them because they don’t know that this is the issue. They don’t know the issue.
Liel: [00:28:58] So how certain are we right now that this is the issue? Right. So I guess that’s
Grace: [00:29:03] That’s where we’re
Liel: [00:29:04] Going to determine whether this takes off or not.
Grace: [00:29:07] Yes, it’s new. It’s they are looking to try and form an MDL that has already started. So it, You know where?, Illinois, I believe. Mm hmm. They say because of the favorable statute of limitations and statute of repose, specifically with children and minors, it doesn’t run out until, I think 10 years after they turn 18 or something like that. Don’t quote me on that, please. I am not an attorney. I will not be able to give you the specifics on that, but SOL And SOR statute of limitation statute of repose. My understanding from the call on MTP was that Illinois has favorable ones for these children to be able to on their parents to be able to get compensation for this horrible, horrible thing. You know, as I know more, I will talk more to you about it, obviously, and we can talk more about it on the podcast. But this is going to be. And they said it MTP on the on the webinar. This is going to be potentially a very, very big thing. And it’s because it’s children, it’s preemie babies and any C or a diagnosis of necrotizing enterocolitis is one of those things that when the baby, if if the baby passes or the baby has problems like that, you’ll know and you’ll see it.
Grace: [00:30:22] And if they took formula and they just link the two because formula, that formula is prescribed. My sister had to have the formula prescribed to her to be able to get that formula. So the proof behind this is there. Yeah, it’ll be a little harder to. I won’t know yet until we get a little more into it what’s what they’re going after and what they have that that they can go after information like that they knew about it or something, right? Because it’s always about negligence liability, it’s about liability. So you have to know why it is that we can go after them. Did they know something, you know, like with juul or like with talc? You know, did they know anything about it? Did they hide anything? Was there? Was there something that somebody was told and never was divulged? That’s where we’re at, and I have to learn a little bit more about that side of it, whereas the lawyers will probably know better than I do. The one involved in this, the exact science behind why they can go after them right now legally. Yeah, you know,
Liel: [00:31:28] You’re very thorough, Grace. You make sure you share your notes with the lawyer litigating this
Grace: [00:31:35] Here, right? Like they did. Well, there were some amazing lawyers on that MTP webinar.
Liel: [00:31:41] I’m sure. I’m sure. I’m sure they are. It’s so great. I mean, this is huge, right? Because I’m just looking here at statistics and basically 10 percent of all baby birds in the United States per year are preemies. And so that that comes up to a number of three hundred and eighty thousand. Yeah, I mean, that’s that’s what I’m seeing here.
Grace: [00:32:07] That’s not that’s not a tiny pool. No, no.
Liel: [00:32:10] It’s huge, right? It’s huge. And so I guess we don’t know what the rate of preemie babies that actually have these. I don’t have that data, but you know, it’s it’s not small at all. So as we’re shifting into talking about the the marketing side of things, do we know if there are any hotspots? Have there been any particular areas in the country where this has been more noticeable than in other places? Or are we basically looking at everywhere?
Grace: [00:32:41] So if they’re starting the MDL near Illinois, it’s because that’s where a lot of this is kind of coalescing. Not to mean that, you know, maybe it’s going to we’re going to see heat maps in other locations, you know, how we saw with paraquat by where the farm areas are and all of that? Yeah. I don’t know if we’re going to see the same thing with this and maybe the major cities, right, where it concentrates on the major city areas where they have more preemie babies because people are more inclined to go to the hospital with their, you know, the preemie babies and so on and so on. I don’t know. That’s just the supposition at this point. But no, I have not seen a heat map or anything specific to that. I don’t know exactly what the pool is going to look like, but I can tell you what we’re going to be looking at in terms of targeting. And that’s obviously parents. And it seems like mothers and social media in particular are the way to go. Like Facebook groups and communities, yeah,
Liel: [00:33:40] That’s the thing. There is big communities and social media platforms
Grace: [00:33:44] And even this. Advertising right on like the parenthood pages and channels and YouTube channels and all that stuff, there’s tons of that stuff on there. Yeah, yeah.
Liel: [00:33:52] So target. Yes, absolutely great. So just top of mind comes targeted placement on display and YouTube. Huge. Needless to say, the search network right the place to be because obviously the awareness is there. You definitely need to be looking not at high intent keywords only because people just like, as you’ve mentioned with most of mass torts, whether it’s park or so, you want to go after the symptoms, right? So in the in the case of I’m just going to use Park or here because it’s it’s it’s in my mind and I I know what the symptom is. So it’s Parkinson’s, right? Yeah. So so you actually target that you are your target Parkinson as part of the keywords that you want to be associated with your campaign because whether someone has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s because of protocol or not is not going to be certain until the lead actually clicks on your ad because they see themselves identified with it, you definitely want to put it in front of them for their consideration because, you know, if they’ve had a premature baby and fed them formula and they are now having one of those conditions that you’ve mentioned, then that comes up on the top of the page. You see that it’s in front of you, then that’s obviously going to draw your eyes too, and you’re probably going to want to click that there. But I think, you know, because there are so many different things that range from that to other procedures or conditions. Yeah, it’s it’s it’s big. It’s a really big campaign. Yeah, it’s
Grace: [00:35:34] Yeah, there’s going to be a lot of really
Liel: [00:35:35] It’s a really big campaign and it’s it’s definitely going to intersect with childbirth injuries, cerebral palsy that you’re mentioning. There is a campaign on its own. And so I think you you are if you are after, if you’re one marketing for both things, you just need to make sure that you’re segmenting, well, their your ads so that baby birth injuries is not getting confused with this because it’s a completely different type of injuries, a completely different type of face. And if you end up having someone a potential infant formula case, you definitely don’t want to send them to a baby birth page or landing page because it’s not that, it’s not that it’s it’s not going to be irrelevant to them. So those are just kind of like the opportunities that I can see here. But in terms of reach, I mean, you have a lot of places to go and run your run your campaigns. It’s you’re just going to have to be selective about what market you want to go after.
Grace: [00:36:41] Yeah, and injuries and everything because, yeah, I’m looking at it and I’m like, you know, I think intestinal perforation and preemie birth might be a good way to know. But like you said, it’s going to be difficult to make sure that you don’t get birth injuries or Med Mal or anything like that involved with the baby formula, because that’s so different, right? One is baby. Formula One has to do with potentially something happening when the baby was actually born and an injury because of it, you know? So yeah, it’s yeah, that is going to be interesting. I hadn’t thought about that quite that way, Liel. So I appreciate you bringing that up because, yeah, birth injuries are so specific and it does have a lot of these issues potentially in there as well.
Liel: [00:37:21] Yeah. Yeah.
Grace: [00:37:23] Don’t know necrotizing enterocolitis. Like what parent necessarily knows the exact terminology of the gut situation that their child had?
Liel: [00:37:33] Well, I mean, only only only if your doctor has has brought it to your attention and told and told you, right, yeah, this is what this is. What’s happening to your baby, right? God forbid. But you know, I mean, just saying it, Jesus, it’s right.
Grace: [00:37:48] It doesn’t give you yet.
Liel: [00:37:49] Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, yeah. Well, Grace, thank you again for sharing insights into two new potential methods, and let’s do our takeaways.
Grace: [00:38:06] All right. Sounds good to me. So I guess the let’s bring it home with the baby formula and everything, you know, any time we talk about new mass torts developing mass torts, it’s important that you all remember and think about the fact that. Whatever, wherever it is in its life cycle, right, whether it’s paraquat, because it’s a, you know, in the middle age or if it’s baby formula, because it’s brand new and there’s not quite an MDL formed or if it’s even newer, like lead poisoning and nothing has been done necessarily yet, and nobody really knows about it. You have to determine whether you want to go after that. And that is part of your overall marketing strategy. So my take away is always think about your overall marketing strategy and what you specifically want to go after and where that is in your business lifecycle, as well as how that’s going to fit into your current business strategy and strategy.
Liel: [00:39:02] I agree. Grace.
Grace: [00:39:04] So I guess my I don’t really have three today. I have two. So if you want to take one, by all means take one. My second one is having to do with specifically with marketing strategy and targeting. I think sometimes we forget. We forget to look at the specifics of the market, right, and how, like you said in particular with the birth injuries versus baby formula and how those two could potentially mix, and you have to be very specific in the way you’re creating your campaigns and going after these. I think it’s important that we remember and constantly adjust and fix and have as part of our strategy what our target is. Who are we supposed to be going after? If you need to create an avatar and create an avatar or do whatever it is that you need to do to know, this is what I’m trying to go after and this is how I’m going to get there, because to just throw campaign money out there, obviously no one is in that position. No one should be really in that position or should be doing that. But we are really not in that position. Nobody is right as as lawyers, as businesses and running a business. You need to be as focused as you possibly can in targeting what you’re trying to achieve and getting to that goal, but you have to understand what that goal is before you get there. So if you need to speak to somebody like Liel to give you a consultation on what you’re targeting should be do that you should and you really need to, because to just throw money into something and say, Oh, because it’s brand new, I’m going to spend X number of dollars and, you know, it’s a new tort, so I know I’ll get good leads. No, that doesn’t work that way. And it’s just going to get harder and harder in Google. And it has been to achieve any goals without a clear direction and plan
Liel: [00:40:59] That that’s a really good one Grace. I agree with you, right? You need to know very well your qualifiers. At the end of the day, that’s going to dictate who is going to be your your target audience and what you need to inform them about and make it very clear to them. Also, what is the call to action? I will say, though, I mean, you’ll be surprised sometimes how much not so well thought through strategy can actually still generate results. The bottom line is that you don’t want to you don’t want to be that person running a sort of mediocre campaign and taking that gamble. Why? Because the moment somebody comes to market with a better strategy, with better messaging, with a more thorough approach, there are probably going to beat you in to generating deletes. So you definitely want to up the game there because competition is getting tougher and you just need to to be up there. Grace, I’m just going to say my last takeaway here, it’s going to be it’s the end of the year. Run your numbers. If you have money, go and diversify. Invest in mass torts because it can generate results. Do your homework. People like Grace, right? And getting bullied into mass torts. You don’t have to do it on your own. You can just leverage your position as an attorney and do yourself a favor by being part of it.
Grace: [00:42:28] That’s right. Make sure that you include yourself as part of the strategy. You know exactly what you’re doing, and you make sure that you got to whoever you need to talk to to make sure it gets done right or someone else will go out to those leads in those cases.
Liel: [00:42:41] So, Grace, thank you very much for this great conversation, and I’m looking forward to our next one next week. Thanks. Have a great rest of your day. You too Liel bye bye. And if you like our show, make sure you subscribe. Tell your coworkers. Leave us a review and send us your questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll see you next week.